2015 Hatch Bill Replicates Language of Failed 2014 Fast Track Bill; Would Expand Same Broken Trade Model That Has Led to $912 Billion Trade Deficit, Loss of Millions of Manufacturing Jobs, Attacks on Public Interest Policies
By Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
The Hatch Fast Track bill introduced today would revive the controversial Fast Track procedures to which nearly all U.S. House of Representatives Democrats and a sizable bloc of House Republicans already have announced opposition.
Most of the text of the Hatch Fast Track bill replicates word-for-word the text of the 2014 Fast Track bill, which itself replicated much of the 2002 Fast Track bill.
The bill explicitly grandfathers in Fast Track coverage for the almost-completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and would extend Fast Track procedures for three to six years. The bill would delegate away Congress’ constitutional trade authority, even after the Obama administration dismissed bipartisan and bicameral demands that the TPP include enforceable currency manipulation disciplines.
Today’s bill, sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) failed to attract a single House Democratic sponsor.
In the past 21 years, this form of Fast Track authority has only been authorized once by Congress – from 2002 to 2007. In 1998, the House of Representatives voted down Fast Track for President Bill Clinton with 71 GOP members joining 171 House Democrats.